Nelsan Ellis, the actor who starred in HBO’s True Blood, has passed away at the age of 39, his manager has confirmed to multiple sources.
The actor, who portrayed the role of Lafayette Reynolds in the hit series, died on Saturday in his Los Angeles home due to heart failure complications.
HBO released a statement on the actor’s death in which they said, “We are were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis.” The statement continues, “Nelsan was a long-time member of the HBO family whose groundbreaking portrayal of Lafayette will be remembered fondly within the overall legacy of ‘True Blood.’ Nelsan will be dearly missed by his fans and all of us at HBO.”
Oscar winning actress Octavia Spencer took to Instagram on Saturday to remember Ellis.
Just got word that we lost @nelsanellisofficial. My heart breaks for his kids and family. #RIPNelsanEllis. #brillIantactor #trueblood #getonup #thesoloist #thehelp. The first time I met him was on the set of the soloist and we were at rehearsal with a lot of the homeless cast members, and Nelsan was playing our counselor. He walked in wearing a pair of fitted camo cargo pants, a pristine white tshirt, a beret, and a denim jacket. Needless to say he was gorgeous, sexy. But his talent had me speechless. We became instant friends after that. He was sooooo funny. I miss him. #nelsanellis
Ellis starred in a number of roles including The Help, The Stanford Prison Experiment, The Soloist, The Express and more.